Baseball America’s annual “Tools” issue is out (you’ll probably seeing lists pop up on their social media today or tomorrow) and for the first time in quite a while, the Giants have a real presence! It’s true, they don’t have a lot of players mentioned across the four full season levels— just five players total mentioned across the four full season levels. The impact came more from Heliot Ramos’ ubiquitous presence on the Cal list, where he picked up three mentions included the coveted “Most Exciting Player” which tends to be a catchall for the league’s best prospect. The full list:
- Jonheshwy Fargas, Eastern League’s “Fastest Baserunner”
- Melvin Adon, Eastern League’s “Best Fastball”
- Joey Bart, Cal League’s “Best Defensive Catcher”
- Heliot Ramos, Cal League’s “Best Power Prospect,” “Best Defensive OF,” “Most Exciting Player”
- Jesus Tona, Sally’s “Best Reliever” and “Best Changeup,”
And speaking of Ramos, big sigh of relief today!
#SFGiants are surely breathing a sigh of relief.— Marc Delucchi (@maddelucchi) August 6, 2019
Top prospect Heliot Ramos left a game in Lake Elsinore yesterday after being hit on the hand.
I was just informed by a source close to the situation and X-rays are NEGATIVE. "Not as bad as initially looked."
Best news of the day! Happy Hump Day, everyone!
Sacramento had an OFF Day
Which gives us time for a little light reading! Some of you have, no doubt, spent much of the season looking at the Sacramento box scores and thinking to yourself some version of the question: “So how crazy is this place really?”
Do yourself a favor and read this JJ Cooper piece. The contextual facts he’s put together are truly mind-bending:
By the way, buried in there is a note that there are only eight qualified hitters across the three Class A+ leagues this year who are slugging above .500. One of those eight is our very own 19 year old wunderkind Heliot Ramos. Best power prospect, indeed!
Tonight’s game in Altoona has been suspended due to rain.— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) August 6, 2019
We will pick this up tomorrow night in the 2nd inning at 4:30 p.m. followed by tomorrow’s regularly-scheduled game. pic.twitter.com/7ALRQhVeeb
San Jose played the game the extra innings rules were supposed to eliminate, going 14 innings before dropping their third walk off loss of this southern road trip. The Giants faced San Diego’s #3 prospect Luis Patiño for his second straight start, and with the benefit of familiarity they actually scored 2 runs off of him! Not bad. They did strike out 8 times in 5 innings against him though. So for the two starts, Patiño’s combined numbers vs. San Jose was
- 13.1 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 17 K
Yep, he’s good!
Luis Patiño's fastball really is something. 95-97 with cut life and explodes through the zone. He can elevate it, drive it down, put it on the outside corner - fastball has been as good as advertised tonight.— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) August 7, 2019
5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 8 K for Luis Patiño so far. FB holding at 95-97, SL getting better as game goes on. Had a hiccup in the third inning when he was getting squeezed by the home plate ump, otherwise it's been fairly smooth sailing— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) August 7, 2019
Through 7 innings this was just a regular ol’ ball game. But in the 8th Courtney Hawkins delivered a game tying two-run homer and that kicked things into crazy gear. Collectively the two teams would fail to score with the free baserunner six different times. And the two times, San Jose did take the lead, they couldn’t hold it. Jesus Tona couldn’t nail down a two-run lead in the 11th. In the 14th, John Gavin instantly gave up the tying run but then appeared to get out of trouble with a double play grounder. But with two outs and no one on he gave up two hits sandwiched around a walk to end a long, painful night for the team.
One more game on what’s turned into a nightmare road trip down south and they get to come on back home.
Augusta lost to Hickory Crawdads (Rangers), 8-3
splitting their series, 2-2
The GreenJackets got two different hard throwing top prospects out of the Rangers system in this series. They bested the Rangers 2018 1st round pick Cole Winn in the series opener. But going up against the Rangers #1 prospect, 2017 2nd rounder Hans Crouse, Augusta just couldn’t get much going last night, dropping the rubber game of the series and finale of the homestand.
That is to say....most of the team couldn’t get much going against Crouse last night. Because that was most definitely not true of clean up hitter Frankie Tostado. In the bottom of the 2nd, Tostado came up and jerked a mid-90s fastball foul to the pull side. But despite having his bat sped up he was able to stay balanced through a breaking ball on the next pitch and drive it out to RF.
Frankie Tostado went deep twice last night off Rangers #1 prospect Hand Crouse. Here’s the first pic.twitter.com/24uZcIdKcY— Roger Munter (@rog61) August 7, 2019
After flying out to CF in his second at bat, Tostado faced Crouse one final time and absolutely moonshotted a ball on, through, and over everything including, yes, the Tax Slayer Party Terrace. Don’t you think you can come in my kitchen, Hans!
Frankie Tostado blasts one over the Tax Slayer Terrace for his second HR of the night and 16 of the year pic.twitter.com/8H2rIIWvLt— Roger Munter (@rog61) August 7, 2019
With 16 HRs on the season, Tostado is in range of an achievement. As long as the GreenJackets have been a Giants affiliate only Adam Duvall (22) and Chris Dominguez (21) have managed to climb to the 20 HR plateau. Does Frankie have four more in him?
Tostado’s home run heroics couldn’t prevent Augusta from taking the loss however. They were in search of their sixth straight series victory but had to settle for a 2-2 split. The Jackets haven’t lost a series since dropping two out of three in Asheville back on July 12-14. Since June 1 they have the Sally’s best record at 36-22 and overall this year they are five games better than their nearest competitor in the Southern Division. But they cling to just a 1 game lead that they must protect to make the playoffs.
Perhaps some wise words from reliever Peter Lannoo will help:
Thought this quote was worth sharing from yesterday. @pete_lannoo was throwing 79 mph out of HS. Was a walk-on at Cornell his sophomore year. Now pitching in the #SFGiants organization. pic.twitter.com/2iNShLVEAp— Rylan Kobre (@RylanKobrePxP) August 6, 2019
Salem-Keizer was OFF for their All Star Game break
Having lost half of their All Star representation to the Sally league, the Volcanoes barely made a ripple in the game itself. Kervin Castro did start for the NWL and threw 1 scoreless inning, but that was it for the game.
Before the game, however, they made quite a stir in the proceedings. Sean Roby has been more of a hitter than a slugger so far in his career, in fact he has just 1 HR for the Volcanoes this year. But he showed off some raw power last night, taking the belt in the Pioneer League — Northwest League All Star Home Run Derby.
The Northwest-Pioneer League Home Run Derby was more entertaining than I could have imagined!@SKVolcanoes 3B/DH Sean Roby hit 18 in the final round to knockout @GJRockies OF/C Colin Simpson. pic.twitter.com/bkr80LmM8t— Jay Tust (@KTVBSportsGuy) August 7, 2019
Pretty sweet night for the 2018 12th rounder! Ironically, after winning the home run derby, Roby didn’t appear at all in the game — perhaps he tired himself out. Roby missed an extended period with an unspecified injury, but he did play in the Volcanoes final game before the break so hopefully he’s ready to rejoin the lineup and help make up for the loss of Labour and Genoves.
This was not the first time a Volcanoes rep has won the belt by the way. Gio Brusa took the Derby crown back in 2016.
As far as I can tell (and the records are slightly incomplete) the all time record for wins in a season in the AZL is 42 by the 1998 Rockies team which included an astounding nine future big leaguers including perennial all star (and villain of the 2012 NLCS) Matt Holliday and future Good Giant (and hero of the 2010 NLCS) Juan Uribe.
Four other teams have managed to hit the 40 win mark, including two different Giants’ teams this decade. The 2013 team, which was the last Giants team to win a championship (they’ve lost in the Championship round since then) won 41 games, anchored by Christian Arroyo, Ryder Jones, Jonah Arenado and Keury Mella. And the 2011 team, which was an exceptionally old AZL team that included future Giant Kelby Tomlinson among a host of 20 somethings, also won 41 on their way to a championship game loss.
At 31-9, the Giants Orange team is certainly putting itself in position to make a possible run at history. Last night against their Black brethren, Abdiel Layer’s third HR of the year kicked off a 6 run 9th inning that carried them to victory. The inning included four hits (all singles aside from Layer’s blast), three walks and three stolen bases.
The pitching for the game was on the old side, what with rehabbing high level guys like Patrick Ruotolo and Cory Taylor interacting with college draftees just getting their arms into shape like Caleb Killian and Bryce Fehmel. But lefty Juan Sanchez had an eventful five inning stint in which he loaded up the stat sheet with four walks and four strikeouts but just one run.
Marco Luciano added a single to the 9th inning rally, but ended that inning when he was thrown out trying to steal for the 6th time this year. Interestingly, Luciano also got a mention in BA’s Tools edition as one of the 10 Best Power/Speed Combo prospects in the game. I wonder how that speed will develop as he continues to grow and if, like Ramos, it downgrades a bit as he matures.
Boy a day without a Luis Matos or Victor Bericoto hit is sort of a day without sunshine isn’t it? And the DSL Giants needed all the hits they could manage in this one. Odue Civada, Rafael Martinez and Albenis Chango combined on a nightmarish 7th inning in which they walked four and surrendered seven hits and 11 runs. The woebegone Chango, who has suffered through perhaps the worst pro debut I can ever remember (with 32 walks in 9 innings), was at one point on the verge of throwing a natural cycle when three straight batters singled, doubled, and tripled off of him. However, he avoided the home run, getting instead a ground ball to 3b which Samuel Jorge then threw away.
It was that kind of day.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Dereck Rodriguez) vs. Memphis (Austin Warner)
Richmond (Logan Webb) @ Altoona (Sean Brady)
San Jose (Matt Frisbee) @ Lake Elsinore (TBD)
Augusta is OFF
Salem-Keizer is OFF
AZL Giants Black (Freddery Paulino) vs. AZL Cubs2 (TBD)
AZL Giants Orange (Jesus Gomez) @ AZL Brewers Blue (TBD)
DSL Giants (Marvin Brown) @ DSL Mariners (TBD)
Richmond has a lot of innings to make up tonight as they’ll pick up last night’s suspended game in the top of the 2nd inning, playing essentially a full double header. They’ll lean on Webb to give them a strong, and long, outing in one of the two games. Conner Menez was originally scheduled to be the starter for tonight’s Sacramento game but D-Rod moves up to take his slot (and perhaps the next #5 start in SF). While San Jose tries to end a rough road trip on a winning foot. Despite spinning their wheels they are right in the thick of things in a thoroughly mediocre Northern Division as the Cal League comes down to its final weeks.
And congrats once again to Sean Roby for his special night: